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Memphis and Nashville


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#16 Ron Johnson

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 01:42 PM

I live in Memphis. It's a culinary black hole. Mediocrity reigns. Attach no romantic notions of seeing Graceland and reliving Elvis' last years in the Jungle room. The day MLK was shot the town stopped developing. Memphis is May, specifically the Music Fest, is the only fun thing about this town. April 29,30 and May 1st. Be there or be extremely bored.

Aw, come on man, you're just burned out on Memphis. After six years there I was ready to leave (also my doctor recommended it) as well, but I look back on it fondly. Also, a lot of folks have fun visiting Memphis for a weekend. Now, Nashville is another story altogether: a little too antiseptic, white, corporate, and clean-cut for my taste.

Memphis in May is fun, but it conflicts with the Kentucky Derby, so I never go anymore.

#17 Wilfrid1

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 06:50 PM

Is Nashville hard to get around without driving? Looking at a map, the Opry area seems some distance from downtown. Easy to get cabs?
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#18 Ron Johnson

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 07:27 PM

Is Nashville hard to get around without driving? Looking at a map, the Opry area seems some distance from downtown. Easy to get cabs?

Yes, it is a city that requires a vehicle, and cabs can be difficult to find. Restaurants will generally obtain one to take you back to your hotel, but as far as flagging one down as you are wandering around the city, forget about it.

#19 GordonCooks

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 08:41 PM

The drive from the airport to downtown can be quite a haul. Rent a car with a navigation system (Hertz) - you'll be glad you did. May I ask what is prompting your trip to the land of strip malls and chain restaurants?
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#20 Wilfrid1

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 09:07 PM

The drive from the airport to downtown can be quite a haul. Rent a car with a navigation system (Hertz) - you'll be glad you did.


No-one else will. I can't drive.

May I ask what is prompting your trip to the land of strip malls and chain restaurants?


I am English. For me, it is exotic. I even found Atlantic City exotic.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#21 bloviatrix

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Posted 16 March 2005 - 09:32 PM

The drive from the airport to downtown can be quite a haul.

I once made the trip from Music Row to the airport complete with car return in about 15 minutes. Then ran through the airport to my gate hurdling assorted pieces of luggage and dodging clueless travelers only to find out my flight was delayed by a half hour.

The joys of traveling for business :rolleyes:
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#22 GordonCooks

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Posted 17 March 2005 - 03:09 PM

May I ask what is prompting your trip to the land of strip malls and chain restaurants?


I am English. For me, it is exotic. I even found Atlantic City exotic.

Aaaaaaaah yes, I've seen the Hugh Grant movie "Love Actually" and know understand your motivation.
Jazz is musical improvisation; it is the art of the moment. In the recording of jazz, the inspiration and inventiveness of this moment is made permanent by technology, giving pleasure many years after the performance.

Photography is jazz for the eye. - William Claxton

#23 tanabutler

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 08:54 PM

If you're still going to be there, check out Germantown Cafť. They were in Bon Appetit this month; they're clients of mine. (I didn't do the web design, but production, and now maintenance.) It's supposed to be good, and I'm sorry I can't recommend anything from the years I lived and worked there. Most of those places have closed.

#24 Tuckerman

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Posted 25 March 2005 - 11:15 PM

After several successive meals of smoked pork, visitors will welcome the off-beat, Caribbean flavors of the food at Automatic Slimís Tonga Club. The brainchild of Memphis restaurant mogul Karen Blockman-Carrier and the oldest restaurant in her empire, Automatic Slimís borrows the vibe from its Manhattan namesake and the cuisine of Jamaica, Latin America, and Mexico.

I've eaten at Automatic Slim's and remember the food being overpoweringly sweet-something I found hard to get used to in other places in the South. The red wine was too warm too, but maybe wine is not the drink to have.

The burger at Huey's is undoubtedly the best I've had anywhere. But then I'm used to British burgers, so that may not count for much. :lol:

#25 tanabutler

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Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:02 AM

My foodie friend in Nashville, DG Strong, posted something about a new restaurant, Watermark, in Nashville that I think is worth posting here:

Well, my goodness. I am just in from one of the most wonderful meals I've ever had at a restuarant in my entire life. The big surprise is that it was at a restaurant that's been open for precisely six days. Usually this sort of thing is fraught with bad service, mis-timed plates and overly ambitious menu selections. Instead, the whole thing was like a delicious, edible ballet.

Four of us. Course #1: wood-grilled swordfish paillard with white bean salad; crab cakes with lemon butter; sweet potato ravioli with ham hock pot liquor and collard greens; grit souffle with goat cheese and apple smoked bacon butter; and seared foie gras with yellow corn grits, smithfield ham and blackberry compote.

Course #2: Butter-poaced poussin with cornbread dressing, creamed oysters and orange cranberry relish; coffee barbequed duck breast with sweet onion clafouti, duck cracklin' cornbread, swiss chard and honey glazed hominy; hickory-grilled beef shortribs with cocoa-balsamic glaze and potato puree; and a regular old ribeye with matchstick potatoes.

For dessert: chocolate cobbler with vanilla chantilly cream; red wine poached pear with mascarpone ice cream; cappuccino mousse; and ricotta cheesecake with pomegranate molasses. The chef also sent out some Jack Daniels chocolate ice cream.

On the drinks side: Stoli gimlets, Heitz zinfandel, and with dessert, various grappas and after dinner drinks. With the foie gras appetizer, the wine steward sent out some unbelivable bubbly Moscato D'Asti, all of which I hogged since I was the only foie gras eater. Their loss!

It all sounds nutty, but the whole menu was so assured, even when I had my doubts. It was borderline thrilling. All in a spectacular, gorgeous new space in The Gulch. The restaurant was opened by former accolytes of Birmingham's Frank Stitt (but he's not directly involved) and I couldn't be more impressed. Plus, it was all paid for as "research and development" by my restaurant friends!


Story in "Nashville Scene"

#26 tanabutler

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 06:09 AM

Well, ongoing reporting from DG, who returned to Watermark. I'll be patient and see how this unfolds.

Dinner tonight with Beth Lee at the fancy place. Less fancy than last time, but I wish it had been fancier; we were seated in the bar and that was sort of not fancy. But. Duck charcuterie plate: sausage, terrine and confit, all deeeelicious. And a lovely buttermilk panna cotta for dessert; the rest of dinner was just fine. But I was sad; I think I oversold the joint.



#27 Jaymes

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Posted 02 December 2005 - 03:20 PM

So okay, I'm shooting for Nashville tonight, depending upon the weather.

Not sure what time (okay, or even if) I'll arrive, but if the hour's not too late, I'm planning on selecting something from the list above and checking it out.

Thanks to everyone that contributed.

And when you're watching the weather on TV today, and that snowstorm that's hitting the northeast, imagine me bravely trekking along in my little blue Nissan.

:D

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#28 Wilfrid1

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:03 PM

I never made the trip, but will do so this summer. And with a car driver, too.

I assume Ron's recommendations are still operational? Corky's and Rendezvous the best BBQ in Memphis, it seems. There were some Nashville dining recommendations in the late R.W. Apple's book, whatever it's called. I think I'll spend a little more time in Memphis than in Nashville - a week for the whole trip.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#29 Ron Johnson

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:10 PM

Rendezvous is not the best BBQ in Memphis, but it is good and worth a visit to see this institution. Corky's is excellent BBQ, but the atmosphere sucks. It is in the suburbs. By now, they probably have a downtown location though. The Interstate is also good BBQ.

My favorite BBQ joint is the Cozy Corner. It is on the north side of downtown close to the Pyramid and North Parkway.

#30 Wilfrid1

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Posted 08 May 2007 - 04:15 PM

Thanks.

For Nashville, the Hermitage Suites Hotel sounds atmospheric. Apple's recommendations for dining include Loveless Cafe and Rotier's, which both sound casual, and the Wild Boar ("sepulchral" :P ).
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.